Home33 forum General discussion forum Peony ploidy levels

last updated by Bob 3 years, 11 months ago
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    • #25694

      In a recent article on peony pollen size and shape there was a listing of some cultivars with their ploidy level. There were some surprises:

      ploidy levels peony cultivars
      I did not expect Old Faithful to be triploid for example, I always assumed it was tetraploid. The surefire way to know whether a cultivar is di-,-tri-, tetraploid is counting chromosomes of course, but that is unfortunately something I don’t have the knowledge for. Sometimes people say they know by the look a plant what it is? I’d be much interested to hear what one has to look for then or if somebody has lists of cultivars that are surely tetraploid. For nearly all species ploidy level is known, so often from crosses between them, it can be deduced what ploidy level the seedlings will have. But when it comes to those ‘advanced generation hybrids’ it’s a bit more difficult, especially when the parentage is unknown.

      As it is assumed that both diploid and tetraploid pollen has more viable grains and crossing between diploid-diploid, tetra-tetra and diploid-tetra gives more seeds, it is a least interesting to know. I have spent many, many hours crossing hundreds of flowers from some cultivars to end up with not a single seed, so I would be nice to be able to direct the time we have to somewhat more “fruitful” crosses ūüėČ

    • #25709

      I was also surprised to see that Old Faithful is triploid since I read on for example Warmerdam’s website that it is tetraploid. But I have also heard that it doesn’t set that many seeds, so I suppose now I know why.

      It seems that it is a big variation amongst triploids how fertile they are. I know that Nate Bremer has nice many nice seedlings after Nosegay for example.

    • #25711

      I can pretty much guarantee that Old Faithful is NOT a triploid, but a fertile tetrapolid instead. ¬† It may have difficulty setting lots of seeds as a seed parent because of the physical nature of it’s carpals, but as a pollen parent it’s pollen sets seeds on other fertile tetraploid varieties just as well as pollen from any other tetraploid does.

      Seedlings using it’s pollen tend to be late blooming in my experience, and since it blooms late in the hybrid season, one may need to use creative strategies in order to use it’s pollen on earlier blooming varieties, but other than that it makes for a good pollen parent.

      Bob Johnson

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